Degrassi Wiki
Degrassi Wiki

Breaking Up is Hard to Do is the third episode of Season 1 of Degrassi High, and the forty-fifth episode overall of the original Degrassi series. It aired on November 13, 1989.


Michelle and B.L.T. are walking home from school; she says that her mom is okay with the two of them going out, but her dad doesn't know; they make plans and Michelle says that she'll just tell her dad that she's going to Alexa's place. She kisses him goodbye and goes home. Inside, her mother is coming down the stairs with a suitcase in her hand; she tells Michelle that she didn't want her to find out this way, but she's having problems with her husband, and they're separating. As she opens the door, she tells Michelle that she'll call, then goes. Michelle turns to her dad and asks what happened, but he won't tell her.

At school, Michelle tells Alexa about the break up while they watch a basketball practice; she says that she doesn't even know where her mother is, and her father won't tell her either. Alexa suggests that maybe Michelle's dad is upset, but Michelle says that he doesn't have any emotions; Michelle says that she doesn't want her parents to break up. Alexa then suggests that maybe Michelle's dad had an affair; Michelle doubts this, saying that he's very old fashioned and wouldn't do that, then adding that her mother wanted to go back to school and her father said that she couldn't; she apologizes to Alexa for complaining so much about it. In the hallway, Joey and Wheels see Lucy and L.D.; Joey tells them that his band, the Zits (their new name) wants to shoot a video and they want to borrow her camera; Lucy says sure, as long as she shoots it. Joey tells her that she's "a chick," but Lucy informs him that if they want her camera, then she's going to be the one shooting the video. Joey reluctantly agrees, and arranges that they'll start tomorrow after school; he and Wheels go off to tell Snake. In another part of the hallway, Heather is trying to convince Erica to go back to the clinic; Erica says that she's fine, and they only suggested that she come back if she was having problems. Heather insists that Erica is only pretending to be fine; she points out that Erica is talking in her sleep. Erica says that she wants to act like it never happened. Elsewhere, Joey and Wheels find Snake; they tell him that Lucy is going to let them use the video camera. Joey asks if Snake got the money, and Snake hands him a wad of cash, saying that he had to clean out his savings account to get it. Joey says that they have almost 50 dollars, and now they can afford the taping expenses; Wheels asks why Joey didn't put any money in, and Joey says that he can't because he's broke. Snake suggests that they should have a script for the video, but Joey says that all they need is a chick in a bikini.

Promo Breaking-Up.jpg

Walking home from school, B.L.T. tells Michelle that she has to make her dad talk to her about what happened; she says that she can't. He says that he'll call her tonight, but she tells him not to, or else her father will get mad; B.L.T. says that if her dad answers, he'll just hang up, but then agrees not to call. Inside, later on, Michelle makes dinner (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese); her father compliments her on how good it is. As he eats, he tells her there are some things they need to discuss: he says that they need to work together as a team now, and he'll change and do some of the housework, but she needs to change too; she needs to concentrate on her studies more, to prepare for university, and not go out so much. Michelle points out that she rarely goes out as it is, only going to Alexa's place. Her father informs her that he knows she's going out with "that black boy." Just then, the phone rings; Mr. Accette answers, then hangs up and tells Michelle that it was a wrong number. They continue eating in silence.

At school, Joey tries to convince Caitlin to wear a bikini for the video; she says it's sexist; but he points out that she wore a bikini all summer and she has a great body. When she gets angry at this, he assures her that it was a compliment, and that he wouldn't ask just anyone to do this. She stalks off; Joey turns and sees Allison and Amy standing there, and approaches them, asking them if they'd like to be the stars of his video. In the Resource Centre, B.L.T. finds Michelle; she asks if he called last night, but he didn't. She tells him that there were two wrong numbers to her house last night and usually they don't get any, so two in one night was odd; she assumes that it was her mother calling and that her father, in an attempt to control everything, simply wouldn't let Michelle talk to her. B.L.T. comments, "No wonder your mom left," and just then, Michelle gets paged to report to the office.

In the office, Mrs. Accette is waiting. She tells Michelle that she tried calling last night, but Michelle's dad kept hanging up on her; Michelle asks what happened, and her mother explains that they had a fight, and Mr. Accette told her that if she left the house, she should never come back again. Michelle tells her mother that he's trying to control her too, and that he knows about her dating B.L.T. Mrs. Accette suggests that they have dinner together tonight; Michelle is unsure, and wonders what she'll tell her father. Her mother says that he can't prevent Michelle from seeing her. Michelle asks if her father was having an affair, if that's what the fight was about. Her mother admits that it wasn't; in fact, she's seeing someone, and this is why she wants to talk to Michelle. She suggests that they go to a restaurant for dinner and says that she'll call tonight, but Michelle, as she's heading back into the school, doesn't look interested any more.

Inside the school, Lucy shows L.D. how to use the camera; L.D. tapes Wheels walking down the hall, then tells Lucy that he's cute; Lucy wants to know what the story is on that, but L.D. insists that there is nothing to tell. In the cafeteria, Michelle tells Alexa, Simon and B.L.T. about her mother's affair, and adds that she feels betrayed. B.L.T. points out that if her mother likes the guy, he's probably okay, but Michelle just says that she feels badly for her dad. B.L.T. points out that her father hasn't been treating her mother very well. and says he's cute; Lucy asks what the story is... elsewhere, Michelle tells Alexa and Simon that her mom was having the affair; she feels betrayed, B.L.T. says he's probably a nice guy, but Michelle says she feels bad for her dad. In the halls, Erica asks Heather how Nancy and Joanne knew; Heather tells her to just keep denying it and it will go away. Erica asks if Heather told anyone; Heather admits that she told Spike that "someone" was having an abortion, but insists that she didn't say who. They arrive at their lockers; Erica's has abortion pamphlets taped to it and "murderer" spray painted on it. She pounds the locker and asks why they can't just leave her alone.

Outside, after school, Joey is showing Lucy around the dumpster, which is where he wants to tape the video. Allison and Amy arrive; Joey asks where their "costumes" are, and they tell him that they're under their clothes, which they're not taking off until the video taping begins. Lucy asks what costumes they're talking about, and finds out that the girls are wearing bikinis; she thinks it's disgusting, but Allison and Amy inform her that Joey paid them 20 dollars each, and it's a business transaction. Wheels and Snake aren't happy when they hear how Joey spent their money; Lucy tells Joey that he won't be using her camera, and calls him a sexist pig, then pushes him into the garbage. As Joey struggles to get out of the garbage, Allison and Amy come over to him and demand their money; Joey tells them that they didn't shoot anything so they're not getting paid; they push him back into the garbage and stalk off.

Walking home, B.L.T. asks Michelle who she'd rather live with; he tries to tell her that her mom would be a better choice, but Michelle still feels bad for her dad. She goes home and her dad is there; he says he decided to take a few days off and he did the laundry; he holds up a towel and shows her that everything is pink now. He's upset with himself that he can't get it right. Michelle asks what the smell is; he runs to the kitchen and grabs a hot pan, then drops it, burning his hand. He apologizes, saying that he wanted to make dinner like mom used to do. Michelle says she can do it; her father is almost in tears, saying that he can't do anything right. He starts to cry and Michelle hugs him and cries too. The phone rings, but neither of them answers it.

At school, Joey is trying to convince Snake and Wheels to stay in the band, they're angry and say that he should have talked to them before doing anything about the video. Joey says that he understands that it's OUR band and OUR ideas, so in the future they'll make group decisions. Wheels and Snake both ask, "OUR money?" Joey asks them for one more chance, and they agree, reluctantly; Joey tells them that he's got a great idea... Inside, B.L.T. asks Michelle how dinner with her mother was; she explains why she didn't go, saying that her dad can't do anything, and if she leaves him, what will he do. B.L.T. tells her that that is her dad's problem, not hers, and asks if she's going to become her father's wife, cooking and cleaning for him, and then adds that her dad is a racist. Michelle tells him that she doesn't need this from him, she needs friendship and support; she begins to cry. B.L.T. holds her and tells her not to make any big decisions right now, that she needs to take her time and think about things.

  • This episode shares its title with the song "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" by Neil Sedaka.
  • After considering various names in A New Start, the Zit Remedy officially becomes the Zits in this episode.
  • The characters featured in the final freeze frame for this episode were Michelle and B.L.T.
  • Although Mr. Accette says that Michelle is 16 years old, she would not celebrate her 16th birthday until Sixteen.

  • Michelle: "Dad can't do laundry and he can't cook. So what's going to happen if I go and live with Mom?"
    B.L.T.: "That's his problem, not yours.
    Michelle: But he's helpless. He needs me. He's my dad."
    B.L.T.: "So you're going to stay with him and be his wife?"
  • Alexa: "My mother says men can't deal with their emotions."
    Michelle: "My father doesn't have emotions."
  • Joey: "I'm not a sleaze! I'm a producer!"

  • v - e - d

    DH Season 1 Episodes

    A New StartBreaking Up is Hard to DoDream OnEverybody Wants SomethingNobody's PerfectJust FriendsLittle White LiesSixteenAll in a Good CauseNatural AttractionTesting One, Two, Three...It Creeps!!Stressed Out